Feeds

Google releases serialization scheme

Pedantic programmers hold love-in

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Fail and You Protocol buffer: it’s the object serialization scheme the pretentious little shit on your development team has been talking at you about during lunch hours for the past couple of days. You’ve been feigning interest with a steady stream of “oh-yeahs” and “that-sounds-cools”, so you don’t really know what it is.

Well today is your lucky day because I’m about to drop some science up in this bitch.

It’s Like XML But From Google, Therefore It’s Awesomer

A protocol buffer is a way to serialize an object such that it can be shared across platforms. You define your object in terms of its primitives in a special language, run the protocol buffer compiler over your definition, and it will produce code in your language to serialize and unserialize this object. With Google’s code, you can share objects across any programming languages you want, as long as they are either C++, Java, or Python.

If you’re putting two kids through college, you likely know this technology by the name ASN.1. Otherwise, it’s just XML with a Google pedigree.

What makes the protocol buffer so popular with the pretentious little shits? Aside from wanting to put it on the CV they send to Google every three months, it’s got scalability written all over it. Oh, scalability: the problem that tens of thousands of engineers yearn for, but only six actually have.

Google invented the protocol buffer because they found XML parsing to be too slow, and XML messages too large. Now this is a good optimization in an environment that needs to process tens of millions of requests per minute, but it is unlikely that your company’s CRM system will benefit from it.

Even if you do have a scalability problem that Protocol Buffers could help, you’ll still be unlikely to use them, because putting your prize-winning testicles out on display as you draw boxes and lines on a whiteboard is most of the fun of solving scalability problems. You’ll be damned if Google is gonna cuckold you on this one.

Can you replace XML with protocol buffers? If you’re just at the outset of a project, it may be worth a look. XML, like a venereal disease, spreads from developer to developer by direct contact. The conservative school of thought suggests that the best way to avoid XML is to simply abstain from programming, but a more pragmatic approach can help to contain the spread of the pestilence while still allowing us to do our jobs. Since programmatic reflection is built into the implementation, it is easy to translate protocol buffers to other formats such as XML, so you can do it if you really have to.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'
Admits to 'a metric ****load' of mistakes during work with Linux collaborators
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.